Maria E. Loeffler, 92, passed away peacefully March 26, surrounded by her family in Portland.

Maria was born Nov. 15, 1929, in the Tyrolean village of Mayrhofen, Austria. The fifth of six children born to Johannes and Bertha Troppmair, she loved both her family and her Heimat dearly. Curious and adventurous, however, she also loved to travel. As a young woman, she worked in England, France, and Switzerland, and, in 1955, she traveled to the United States to visit her Uncle Joe in Chicago.

There, she met another Austrian, Wilhelm Loeffler, whom she married one year later. They remained married for 64 years until Willi’s death in 2020. In 1962, Maria and Willi moved from Chicago to Albany, with their three children, Christopher, Sabine, and Andreas. They purchased a house on Benton Place in North Albany which they would make their home for the next 50 years. Their youngest daughter, Bertina, arrived in 1965.

Maria was a parishioner at St. Mary’s Church, and she held a series of leadership positions in the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, including State Regent (1986-1988) and Third Vice National Regent (1988-1998).

She and Willi hosted many foreign students through the Crossroads program at Oregon State University. Like Maria and Willi, the students were far from home.

Professionally, Maria sold Avon door-to-door. Later she was a real estate agent for Kings View Realty and Caldwell Banker in nearby Corvallis. Her role as mother and homemaker brought her the most joy. Maria taught herself to cook and bake both Austrian and American foods. She mastered the Thanksgiving turkey (with all the sides), sour cherry pie and cinnamon rolls as well as Wienerschnitzel and Strudel. She took great pride in gathering her family around the dinner table nightly for a home cooked meal.

Maria also taught herself to sew, preserve fruits and vegetables, and without fail planted a garden every summer. Maria was a loving mother and played an active role in the lives of her children and grandchildren. With Willie she chaperoned school dances and attended diving and gymnastics meets, tennis matches, choir concerts, graduations, dissertation defenses, and weddings. She often welcomed her grandchildren to Benton Place and gladly travelled across the country and across the Atlantic to attend births, baptisms, soccer matches, and violin recitals.

Ever the optimist, Maria’s faith in her Lord and His plan for her never wavered. Even as her memory and mobility diminished, she radiated light and warmth to those around her.

Maria is survived by her children, great grandchildren, and her great-granddaughter: her oldest son, Chris, and his daughter, Emily; daughter Sabina Lee and her children, Amanda, Collin, and Margaret; Amanda’s daughter, Rosalie, and Margret’s husband, Brandon; son Andreas, his wife, Ann, and their sons, Michael and Nicholas; and daughter Bertina Loeffler Sedlack, her husband, Tim, and their sons, Alexander and Peter.

A funeral mass was held Friday, April 8, at Christ the King Church in Milwaukie.